Should Your Business Outsource its Order Fulfilment?

As e-commerce businesses grow, most of them come to a point where they need to make some important decisions. Do they invest in infrastructure, staff, and training, or do they team-up with another company who can handle their surging orders on their behalf? For many, working with a logistics company often makes the best business sense, saving money, time, and a whole lot of stress!

Allegro Logistics are an e-commerce fulfilment provider based in Bristol, serving clients all over the UK. Using cutting edge technology, streamlined infrastructure and warehouse processes, we support all sorts of businesses as they grow. From enabling the delivery of special projects to providing secure storage for inventory, we handle all aspects of order management.

In this article, we offer guidance on whether your business should think about outsourcing its order fulfilment.

What Does it Mean to Outsource Order Fulfilment?

Outsourcing your order fulfilment essentially means that instead of handling inventory, packaging, shipping, and returns in house, you enlist the help of a third party. A Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL) generally takes care of all aspects of the order fulfilment process, from receipt of the order right through to last mile delivery or the coordination of it.

Read more: How to Improve Your Business’ Order Fulfilment Process

Benefits of Outsourcing Order Fulfilment

Customer Satisfaction

Working with a 3PL means you’ll ensure you deliver only the highest standards of customer experience. By guaranteeing faster shipping times and a seamless journey, you’ll meet if not exceed people’s expectations, making it more likely that they will buy from you again in the future.

3 Valuable Tips for Keeping Up with Customer Demands in the Supply Chain >

Cost Effective

3PLs are typically able to access the best deals out there in terms of couriers and customs charges. Add to that their existing infrastructure and you end up with a highly economical operation. If you compare the costs of enlisting external fulfilment help and doing everything in house, it quickly becomes clear where the savings lie.

Find out more about e-commerce fulfilment with Allegro.

Saves Time for Core Business Activities

With everything handled by an external, high performing logistics company, you won’t have to worry about any time consuming order fulfilment and admin tasks. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on your core talents and ambitions – the reason you probably started the business in the first place!

The Importance of Logistics in the Retail Industry >

No Need for Own Warehouse or Staff

As previously stated, 3PLs have existing infrastructure, warehouses, and highly trained members of staff – all of which you’ll have access to. Instead of shelling out for your own storage space and going through the lengthy process of hiring and training up effective team members, everything is already in place and ready to answer your call.

We store business inventories securely in our 30,000sqft warehouse – learn more here!

Access to Industry Expertise

It goes without saying that logistics companies know a thing or two about logistics. Work with experts in the industry and you get an expert service, perfectly tailored to your requirements, and insider knowledge.

Removes Limits to Your Growth

You might be perfectly poised to undergo a business boom, but the practicalities of dealing with the extra demand is limiting your ability to take proper advantage. With a 3PL, you’ll be able to take on whatever order surge comes your way, but equally to scale down the service if you find growth doesn’t go as expected. That way, any hiccups along the way will not become further limitations. Instead, your 3PL will be there to support your business journey every step of the way.

Read more: The Advantages of Using a 3PL >

Signs You Should Outsource Your Business’ Order Fulfilment

So, you’ve decided outsourcing order fulfilment probably makes sense at some point. But, how do you know when that point is? Below, we outline some indicators that you’re ready to level up.

Your Shipping Costs are High

Are you struggling to deal with orders in an economical and timely fashion? Are you suspicious that you’re not getting the best deal from your couriers? If you’re experiencing spiralling shipping costs and dealing with the prospect of shelling out for storage space and additional staff members, it might be a better idea to get a 3PL onboard instead.

How to Create an Effective E-Commerce Delivery Strategy >

You Lack Knowledge and Resources

Everything’s going great and the orders are flying in, but you’re not sure if you’re doing things in the best way, and not sure you have the facilities, resources, and time to deal with it all. A 3PL can help you navigate through unchartered waters and help you streamline your operation with their industry knowhow.

You Don’t Have Enough Space

If you’re struggling to manage stock because you don’t have enough space, and this is causing order delays, it might be time to contact a logistics provider. These days, customers expect speedy shipping and everything available at once. Not having an item in stock may mean you miss out on valuable business.

Read more: The Importance of Effective Inventory Management

You Want to Enter New Markets

Do you want to go international, but you’re not sure how? Finding a 3PL with expertise in the market you want to enter means you’ll have access to expert industry knowledge and be able to orient yourself in the confusing world of import/export and customs charges. Basically, they’ll handle everything for you, so you can globetrot to your heart’s content.

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You’re Not Optimising Customer Experience

Fast shipping, rapid returns, and top quality packaging equal plenty of happy customers. If you’re concerned you’re not optimising any aspect of your customers’ journey, it might be time to get some expert help. In a competitive marketplace, anything you can do to add value to your products is going to help you stand out from the crowd. With a 3PL, you’ll stand out for all the right reasons.

Related: Bespoke Packaging – Why is it Important & What are its Benefits?

You Receive Lots of Customer Support Requests

In relation to the last point, are you starting to see customers getting in touch with issues, queries, problems with their orders? Are things arriving late, arriving damaged, or returns not being dealt with in a timely manner? It can be difficult to please every customer all of the time, but a surge in customer support requests might indicate there are things to be improved upon. An e-commerce logistics provider can show you what needs to be done.

Get Lightning Fast Logistics for Your Business

If you’re ready to boost your business’ order fulfilment and take your logistics up a notch, Allegro can show you the way. We’ve worked in the industry for a long time, and love nothing more than supporting our clients’ long term growth.

Talk to us about your requirements today!

See more: E-Commerce Strategies & Tips for Small Business

See more: All You Need to Know About Contract Packing

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